Top 20 Whiskies of 2021

#17 • Kentucky Owl The Wiseman

  • Rank: 17
  • Year: 2021
  • Score: 92
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 45.4%
  • Style: Straight bourbon
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

The first Kentucky Owl release under master blender John Rhea, this bourbon drops the high proof and price point typically associated with Kentucky Owl for something more approachable—a blend of bourbons ranging from 4 to 8 years old. Green apple candies, cinnamon stick, buttered popcorn, and sage on the nose. Ginger spice and sweet bubble gum notes intertwine on a creamy palate along with blackberry tart and cocoa powder. Candied raspberries on the finish are matched with a sustained spice that lingers. —Ted Simmons